Notre Dame College Brings Ohio Chief Justice to Celebrate Constitution, Mentor Moot Court

Notre Dame College will host Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor on campus in observance of Constitution and Citizenship Day 2017.

O’Connor, the first woman to lead Ohio's highest court, will address the College and extended community at 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 19, in the Performing Arts Center of the campus Administration Building. A reception follows in the Administration Building foyer.

Prior to her remarks, O’Connor will hear the Notre Dame Moot Court team test their oral arguments for upcoming American Moot Court Association (AMCA) case competitions. The moot court demonstration begins at 7 p.m., also in the Performing Arts Center.

All the events are free and open to the public.

Scheduled to join O’Connor on the bench for the Moot Court team demonstration are panelists Geoffrey J. Ritts, J.D., partner, Jones Day, and trustee, Notre Dame College; Lee Fisher, J.D., dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker Hostetler Chair in Law, Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, who is a former lieutenant governor for the State of Ohio; Denise N. Rini, J.D., judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division; and Jennifer Lanz, J.D., former Notre Dame faculty member and founder of the College’s moot court program, who is known for her work on legal and judicial reform in the Middle East.

Notre Dame students competing in Moot Court this year and expected to argue before the justice are seniors Carter Daniels and Madison Flareau, junior Athena Eli, sophomore Cassidy Galbreath and freshman Khalil Lambert.

The College's Moot Court members will argue the 2017-2018 AMCA case before O’Connor and the panel in practice for upcoming regional and national competitions. AMCA is the largest intercollegiate moot court association in the country.

The AMCA case this year explores whether the functional brain mapping exam conducted by fictional State of Olympus violates the right against self-incrimination protected by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This hypothetical legal issue also explores a sentence of solitary confinement and whether it violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. Both considerations apply the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

O’Connor is the 10th person and first woman in the history of the Supreme Court of Ohio to serve as chief justice. She began her second, six-year term in 2016.

In the spirit of the Sisters of Notre Dame, O’Connor not only is a pioneer in a field traditionally dominated by men but also has a record of serving the underserved. A member of several national and state judicial task force groups, she has worked to address court fines, fees and bail practices to improve access to the justice system for low-income residents.

O'Connor models Notre Dame’s commitment to innovation, too. She has collaborated with bar associations and partner organizations to promote continuing legal education for lawyers and judges, assist local courts with technology needs and increase funding for civil legal aid work.

About Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, officially observed in America on September 18 this year, commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Congress established the American federal holiday in 2004. Since then, all institutions that receive federal funding have been required to provide educational programming related to the history of the U.S. Constitution on or around the day.

About Notre Dame’s Moot Court Program

Established in 2011, Notre Dame’s co-curricular prelaw moot court program has qualified for national competitions in four of its first six years of existence.

The College and its moot court students also partner with local law schools to host annual moot court oral argument scrimmage sessions each year that draw teams from universities across the country.

Moot court is a method of teaching law and legal skills by requiring students to analyze and argue both sides of a hypothetical legal issue using state and federal appellate court procedures.

About Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor

O’Connor first joined the Supreme Court of Ohio in January 2003 when she became the 148th justice, but only the sixth woman, to win a seat on the state’s highest court. She was re-elected in 2008 and became chief justice in 2010.

She served as lieutenant governor of Ohio from 1993 to 2003 under Governor Bob Taft.

O’Connor also was a prosecuting attorney, a court of common pleas judge and a probate court magistrate, all in Summit County of Northeast Ohio.

She worked as an attorney in private practice after earning a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hill College and law degree from the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

August 2017

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or


July 27
7:30 PM
Friday July 27, 7:30pm
Regina Auditorium
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